Are you living an authentic life? It can be difficult if you have been programmed to please others and fear their judgment. What does it mean to be authentic? To be authentic means your actions are consistent with your beliefs. You live true to your soul and stop wearing your egoic masks. You accept responsibility for yourself and are able to express your emotions in a sensitive, respectful manner. It is not mouthing off, telling others what you think of them or trying to force your beliefs upon others. You accept others as they are and life as it is. You know when it is wise to remain silent and when you do communicate you do so from your heart in a loving, compassionate and empathetic manner. Others can sense when you relate to them from your heart rather than your head and this creates a climate conducive to developing deeper relationships. They respect that you are courageous enough to express your vulnerability irrespective of the consequences. Those that find it difficult to relate to you will remove themselves from your life and you will be better off for it. When you manipulate or disguise your words or actions to obtain others’ approval you harm yourself by limiting your growth and development. It builds barriers around your heart which hinders your access. Being inauthentic is a coping mechanism you adopted to deal with the wounds and traumas you experienced when young. It is reinforced socially because getting ahead in a competitive, capitalistic society usually depends upon pleasing others. But your self-respect and self-esteem take a hit each time you fail to honor yourself and that still small voice deep within will let you know it. All healing begins with awareness. Living an authentic life is the deepest form of self-love.